Creative Portraits: Digital Photography Tips and Techniques


Go beyond the basic rules of photography to capture stunning portraits

Portrait photography is a vital topic for photographers of every level of experience, from amateur to professional. Written by renowned photographer Harold Davis, this inspirational book encourages you to define our own photographic style and capture stunning, creative, and unique portraits.

You'll discover tips and techniques for "breaking the rules" of basic digital ...

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Go beyond the basic rules of photography to capture stunning portraits

Portrait photography is a vital topic for photographers of every level of experience, from amateur to professional. Written by renowned photographer Harold Davis, this inspirational book encourages you to define our own photographic style and capture stunning, creative, and unique portraits.

You'll discover tips and techniques for "breaking the rules" of basic digital photography so that you can go beyond the fundamentals such as composition, lighting, and exposure in order to create memorable and incomparable portraits.

  • Explores the most common subject of most photographers-people-and explains when, why, and how to forgo the fundamentals to capture memorable portraits
  • Encourages you to define your own unique photographic style and offers information and inspiration to help you do so
  • Delves into a variety of creative techniques that you can use when exploring ways to take lively and stunning portraits

Illustrated with Harold Davis's striking portrait photography, Creative Portraits will both inform and inspire you.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780470623268
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 8/16/2010
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 1,333,411
  • Product dimensions: 7.30 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Harold Davis is an award-winning professional photographer. He is the author of more than 30 books, including Creative Composition: Digital Photography Tips & Techniques, Creative Black & White: Digital Photography Tips & Techniques, The Photoshop Darkroom: Creative Digital Post-Processing, and Practical Artistry: Light & Exposure for Digital Photographers. Harold writes the popular Photoblog 2.0,

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Table of Contents


Window of the Soul.

Kinds of Portrait Photos.

Why People Sit for a Portrait.

Why Photographers Make Portraits.

The Psychology of Portraiture.

Understanding People.

Character is Destiny.

Capturing Emotion.

Telling the Truth About Someone.

Vanity and Narcissism.

Artifice and Portraiture.

Creating a Self-Portrait.

Day in the Life.

Assignment: People.

Approaching People.

Model Releases.

Composing Portraits.

Street Photography.

Environmental Portraiture.

People at Work.

People at Play.

Working with Models.

Casting Models.



Hair and Make-Up.

Portrait Techniques.




Positioning Your Camera.

Making Camera-Eye Contact.

Movement and Shutter Speed.

Aperture and Depth-of-Field.

Choosing the Right Lens.

Lighting Techniques.

Working with Light.

To See the Light.

Kinds of Light.

Lighting at Home.

Direct Flash.

Studio Lighting.

Kids and Family.

Photographing Kids.

Working with Families.

Portraits of Children.

Casual Kid Photographs.

Environmental Portraits of Kids.

Making Sure Your Kids Love Photography.

Portraits in the Digital Darkroom.

Workfl ow and File Formats.

Mulit-RAW Processing.

Saving Your Work.

Fixing Flaws.

Working with Skin.

Enhancing Eyes.

Selective Sharpening.

Black and White.

LAB Color Inversions.

Notes and Resources.



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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 6, 2011

    Zero creativity, lots of boring uninspiring photography

    I'm not a review writing type of guy, but since this book title is probably the most misleading ever I just can't let it go.
    This book is filled with boring uninspiring images, some of them simply horrible to the level that every third shot of soccer mom who just get her Rebel with kit lens and never knew nothing about photography probably would be better from truly technical point of view. Those images that are good from purely technical point of view definitely lacking of any creativity.
    If this book would have name how to become GWC (guy/girl with camera - derogatory term in professional circles in case you don't know) I would give it 3 stars because it would be accurate description, but still won't be good enough for advanced GWC.
    I can't believe somebody would publish book like this! Go on internet and you will find so many truly creative, innovative and inspiring images and tutorials - for free!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 24, 2011

    Taking Our Most Important Portraits

    Creative Portraits: Digital Photography Tips & Techniques by Harold Davis As stated in the introduction to the book, Creative Portraits is aimed squarely at the heart and soul of portrait photography, how we create meaningful, interesting, and compelling portraits of our friends, family and kids. Harold presents the answer in a "tour de force" of creative examples, and presents them in a personal voice which makes the reader feel as if he is having a one on one conversation with the author. While the book covers traditional portrait techniques such as posing, background usage, camera positioning; along with lighting concepts for both in and out of the studio, the real strength of the book lies in the ability of Mr. Davis to show us how to apply these areas to the types of portrait photography most of us are going to be shooting. The author takes us through the psychology of why people sit for formal portraits, and why that is important. He covers the various types of portrait photography; how to handle models and releases; and the importance of props in portraits. For most of us, the focus on family, friends and children will really strike home. Mr. Davis includes a wonderful selection of his own family photos to show us how to make real keepsakes for ourselves. He shows us how to make use of environmental portraits when working with children; a very good concept if you've ever tried to get a child to sit still long enough to have a photo taken. The book finishes up with a look at how to use the digital darkroom to further enhance our portraits. This book is another in the Creative series and all have helped me become a better photographer. As I said in a previous review, I like the way Mr. Davis writes. He uses a very conversational approach which resonates with me. I find that there is little overlap between his books and, like this one, each passes on not only very usable techniques, but also wonderful lessons in creativity. This book works for me, and I believe you'll find it works for you as well. Let Harold Davis help you take your photography from forgettable to memorable.

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  • Posted October 5, 2011

    A photographic library without Harold Davis is incomplete!!

    Does Harold Davis know how to write a book about photography? You bet can bet your boots on it! And he has done it again with Creative Portraits: Digital Photography Tips & Techniques
    Harold photographs the landscape of the human face, full of emotion and passion and while he is at it he gives his students the tools to develop his/her own skills for an artistic rendering of the beautiful characteristics that makes one human, often with the wrinkles and other imperfections that creates character.
    He gives several examples of how to get both the photographer and the subject to relax, so that the magic can happen. I find that one of Harold's underlining goal of is to make the magic moments captured more of a common occurrence rather than just another lucky shot.
    The one thing that he assumes is that the reader already knows how to use his camera; I do not find fault with that as there many books and other resources for the newbie.
    The finial assessment is that I enjoyed this treatment of Creative Portraits and now I need to put to use what Harold has presented in this book.

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